Is cannabis the new wonder drug?

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“With cancer, we’re starting to talk about curing. This is revolutionary in relation to medical cannabis.”

By Abigail Klein Leichman for Isreal21c dot org

Cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, asthma, insomnia, autism, PTSD, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s – the list of conditions that can be improved, and possibly cured, by medical cannabis keeps growing longer.

The powerful plant used to make marijuana and hashish may prove to be the wonder drug of the century. Israeli researchers have long been at the forefront of discovering which of its many components — and in what quantity and form of delivery –- are effective for which ailments.

Already since the 1990s, medical cannabis has been permitted in Israel and currently is dispensed by prescription to about 33,000 people for relief of pain associated with diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Crohn’s, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Now, academic and corporate research is more intensive than ever. The Israeli government is formulating rules for exporting medical cannabis products such as capsules and oils, and the first government-sponsored international conference on medical cannabis will take place April 23-26 near Tel Aviv.

We spoke to conference organizer Hinanit Koltai, PhD, senior research scientist at the government’s Agricultural Research Organization – Volcani Institute. She works with the Agriculture and Health ministries to promote medicalization of cannabis by determining proper growth conditions and building a national cannabis gene bank for the use of authorized growers, scientists and breeders.

“With cancer, we’re starting to talk about curing. This is revolutionary in relation to medical cannabis.”

Individual strains or cultivars could be optimized for certain medical indications, Koltai explains.

“We can grow cannabis plants for research purposes and manipulate the growth conditions in a way that forms whatever composition we prefer and then we can give future guidelines to growers,” Koltai tells ISRAEL21c.

Her lab developed new extraction methods and bio-assays, and collaborates with physicians, scientists and commercial companies to develop cannabis-based treatments for specific conditions.

Read the rest here

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Over 100 Will Die Today From Opioids While Cannabis Remains Illegal

Telling it like is… many good points made in this succinct video.

Happy 4-20, friends!

On 4/20, Chuck Schumer To Introduce Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana

From NPR

Politics isn’t always red or blue. Lately, it has been green.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., plans to introduce legislation on Friday to decriminalize marijuana on the federal level, adding a high-profile advocate in the effort to decriminalize, legalize and normalize marijuana use in America.

Schumer’s legislation would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under a 1970 law that classifies marijuana as dangerous as heroin for legal and regulatory purposes. It would establish funding for women- and minority-owned marijuana businesses, require more research on the drug’s public health impact, and maintain federal authority to regulate commercial advertising, similar to existing regulations for tobacco and alcohol.

“If smoking marijuana doesn’t hurt anybody else, why shouldn’t we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?” Schumer told Vice News Tonight on HBO in a Thursday interview previewing his bill. To drive home that point, Schumer also agreed to sign a bong.

The move is coming on 4/20, the unofficial holiday celebrating marijuana use and culture.

Schumer’s support is the latest indicator of the green wave affecting American politics, with growing support across the political spectrum to change the way the federal government sees marijuana.

Former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made headlines last week after he announced he was joining the board of a marijuana company and would now help advocate for legalization policies, swiftly reversing a lifetime of opposition to the drug.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., took a baby step in that direction last week by introducing legislation to permanently decriminalize hemp, a nonpsychoactive byproduct of cannabis, that has been a boom for Kentucky farmers in recent years.

The reversals are fueled by a growing number of states that are successfully experimenting with changing marijuana laws — and enjoying the revenue they are bringing in to help their cash-strapped states. Colorado voted to legalize the drug for recreational use in 2012, and there is essentially no lingering political dispute anymore about its merits from either party there.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., waged a battle against the Trump administration this year after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memorandum that advised federal law enforcement to deprioritize marijuana for prosecution. Gardner held up Trump’s nominees for the Justice Department until he received a personal assurance from the president that his administration would not crack down on states that have legalized marijuana.

Gardner is also drafting bipartisan legislation that would make it clear that states have the right to determine their own marijuana laws without federal interference.

Across the aisle, liberal lawmakers are likewise flocking to co-sponsor bills to roll back marijuana restrictions. On Thursday, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, became a co-sponsor of New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker’s billto legalize marijuana and let people convicted in the past of marijuana possession get their criminal records expunged. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is already a co-sponsor.

The three are all possible 2020 presidential contenders — another indicator of which way politicians see the country moving when it comes to marijuana policy.

Thirty states and the District of Columbia have already passed laws legalizing marijuana in some form, such as for medical use. Nine of those states and D.C. have gone a step further to legalize the drug for purely recreational purposes.

Marijuana is also making health care advances this week. The Associated Press reported that a group of U.S. health experts on Thursday endorsed the use of a medicine made from the marijuana plant to treat seizures in children. If the Food and Drug Administration follows the group’s recommendation, it would become the first drug derived from the cannabis plant to win federal approval in the country.

The culture shift is also changing the way people celebrate 4/20. Revelers are trading in secret parties and furtive passes for public celebrations. USA Today reports that Denver is anticipating tens of thousands of people to gather Friday for what is considered “the world’s largest 420 celebration.”

Survey finds that 14% of American adults use cannabis as a sleeping aid

All credit and thanks go to Herb dot co

 

cannabis as a sleeping aid
Photo by Dmitriy Bilous via Getty Images

According to a recent survey by Sleep Cycle, an alarm clock app that tracks your sleeping patterns, roughly 14% of adults in the United States use cannabis as a sleeping aid.

Sleep Cycle’s survey examined a group of 1,004 adult participants to discover the different techniques, products and rituals that Americans commonly use to help them sleep at night. Among the top results were tea, melatonin, and cannabis as a sleeping aid.

Nine percent of respondents claimed to use sleeping medications, including benzodiazepines like Xanax, which are also used to treat anxiety but often abused. However, sleeping pills came in at the bottom of the list, surpassed by common household food and beverage items like ice cream, alcohol, and soup.

Many respondents claimed to use foods that are rich in calcium like bananas (12%), ice cream (10%), and milk and cookies (14%). At the very top of the list, at 21%, was tea.

According to the American Sleep Association, 50 to 70 million adults in the United States experience some form of difficulty sleeping. Roughly 37% of 20 to 29-year-olds and 40% of 40 to 59-year-olds also claimed to experience a short sleep duration—less than the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day.

GettyImages 173124387 Survey finds that 14% of American adults use cannabis as a sleeping aid
(Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Some physicians claim that medical cannabis can help to restore your natural sleep cycle. However only a limited number of studies offer findings on the correlation between cannabis use and sleep, and the results are mixed.

According to a 2008 study from the Freiburg University Medical Center in Germany, marijuana reduces REM sleep, the stage in the sleep cycle when most dreams occur. For this reason, those afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may use marijuana to minimize nightmares.

Another review of the scientific literature on cannabis’ impact on sleep found that cannabidiol (CBD) may have therapeutic benefits for those afflicted with insomnia. It also found that CBD might help those who frequently fall asleep during the daytime. However, the review found that Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) could have a negative long-term impact on sleep quality.

This review concludes that an insufficient amount of research currently exists to draw any definitive conclusions about marijuana’s ability to treat sleeping problems. Early research suggests that, just like other conditions like anxiety, certain compounds in cannabis  (i.e. CBD and THC) might help treat your sleeping problems while others exacerbate them.

Michael Pollan: “Cannabis, The Importance of Forgetting, and the Botany of Desire”

A look at the 5,000 year history of Cannabis Medicine – by Dr David Bearman

Click here to enjoy the PDF:

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Exploring the World of Terpenes (With Link to Interactive Graphic)

 

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From Cannabiz Daily

You are walking down the park and you smell something familiar. Every time you feel it, you know exactly what it is. Cannabis has that very unique, skunky and dank smell. And everyone can recognize it, especially in the states and countries where it has been decriminalized or legalized for recreational use.

But what makes the smell of our favorite herb so special? The answer is simple, and yet complicated in its essence — terpenes.

Terpenes are organic compounds found in many plants around the world. This class of hydrocarbons is known to be a constituent of essential oils and science has identified more than 20,000 different terpenes in nature, 200 of which can be found in a single marijuana plant.

Visit this super cool interactive chart here

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However, if you have ever experimented with different strains you might have noticed that they each have a unique scent, which is because every strain has its own terpene profile. Sour Diesel and Super Lemon Haze have that lemony tone because of a terpene called limonene, while Amnesia Haze and Special Kush smell like lavender thanks to linalool.

Besides giving cannabis its smell, terpenes found their use in medicine, aromatherapy, cosmetic and fragrance industry, and many more branches.

Terpenes have recently hit the limelight for their medical value. For instance, pinene has an anti-inflammatory effect and caryophyllene has analgesic properties.The infographic below was made by our good friends from Greencamp and it explores the 15 most common cannabis terpenes and their therapeutic properties.

You have probably heard of cannabinoids like THC and CBD and how they are able to regulate our mood, emotional behavior, immune system and other body functions. Terpenes enhance the effects of these cannabinoids in a process called the entourage effect. What happens there is that terpenes bind to the same receptors as cannabinoids, helping them enter the bloodstream faster and producing a better therapeutic performance of all cannabis compounds.

And there’s one more cool thing about terpenes — they enhance the “high” produced by THC. Myrcene is the one that improves the effects THC, so strains rich in myrcene will definitely make the buzz much stronger.

Also, if you want to achieve an even stronger high, try eating some mango about 45 minutes before lighting up your joint. Mango contains a terpene called myrcene, so eating that fruit before smoking will make you even higher while improving the medical benefits of THC.